What we Do

With many years of experience working on a variety of projects across many sectors, the CoSector Digital Preservation Team is well placed to help your organisation with its digital preservation needs.

We can provide you with a digital preservation strategy to suit your requirements. We’ll come and talk to you, assess your needs, listen, and advise. We have training and advocacy packages to introduce aspects of digital preservation to your staff.


Why digital preservation is important         

Corporate Memory – for organisations who need to preserve born-digital records in order to maintain business continuity

Heritage – for archives and libraries who keep our history in digital form

Compliance – when preservation must help you meet auditing and legal requirements

Authenticity – for when you need to prove that your born-digital records really are what they say they are

Underpinning digitisation projects – preserving master copies of digitised resources

Achieve economies – preserve your essential non-current materials in low-cost storage                                                                                   


consultancy services

We have expertise in sorting out complex preservation situations and advising the simplest way forward, whatever the situation. We have experience with bench-marking an organisation against preservation standards, and can help highlight your strengths and gaps.

Where we can help:

  • Records management

  • Database preservation

  • Web-archiving

  • Ingest routines

  • Capture of live materials from the network

  • Metadata management

  • Preservation strategies

  • Gap analysis

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We have operated the Digital Preservation Training Programme since 2006. The introductory course is now available online as a distance-learning resource. The course is very suitable as CPD for archivists and other information specialists.

We can also deliver face-to-face training on site in your institution, for any number of attendees. We can create bespoke courses on specialist areas, or run facilitated workshops.

Where we can help:

  • Digitisation strategies

  • File format migration

  • Electronic records management

  • Tools and systems for doing preservation

  • Advocacy


Our Work

Three examples of successful consultancy projects will give you some idea of the range of work we do.

Example One

Client: Multinational alcoholic drinks company

What was the need: Wanted to create a digital archiving and preservation strategy and system

What was our approach: Assessment of current practices using benchmarking tools and reference models; interviews with staff; appraisal of existing systems

What was the solution: Re-purpose an existing supported and funded CMS to serve as a preservation system

What was the outcome: We created a workflow for doing this; persuaded the system owner to co-operate. This represented a considerable saving in investment as a viable alternative to purchasing an expensive new system.

Example Two

Client: International non-governmental agency

What was the need: A comprehensive digital preservation strategy, with risks, priorities, cost benefits, and proposals; an understanding of their capability to support it

What was our approach: Benchmark assessments of capability, interviews with content creators and process owners

What was the solution: Integration of electronic record-keeping systems; method for preservation of digitised materials; comprehensive social media preservation programme; an approach to the capture and management of complex content distributed across multiple live systems.

What was the outcome: Agency now equipped to deal with its unique digital preservation issues, through a collaborative and innovative approach

Example Three

Client: Digital archives of a legislative body

What was the need: Minimum metadata standard for digital preservation of electronic records, websites, and digitized images

What was our approach: Surveyed content owners and understood preservation needs; identified all metadata sources and their creators, comprehensively; identified important events in content creation chain

What was the solution: A tailored version of the PREMIS metadata standard; a mix of technical and descriptive metadata; a clear explanation of how each element was applied

What was the outcome: A fit-for-purpose metadata schema that was a unique fit to the content types, was standards-compliant and allowed for future interoperability

Meet the Team

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Ed Pinsent has become increasingly involved with many aspects of digital preservation since joining the University of London in 2004, he has worked on a large number of funded projects and advised others on preservation of a large range of digital content types – images, databases, digital records, websites, and digitised content. Ed has also devised a series of assessment/ benchmarking tools, culminating in the Assessing Organisational Readiness (AOR) Toolkit, and has led on projects involving metadata requirementsdigitisation, web content, and strategic planning.

 His experience working with digital preservation has fed into the teaching content of the Digital Preservation Training Programme, for which he was awarded a Teaching and Communications Award by the Digital Preservation Coalition.

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Steph Taylor is a ‘born digital’ information professional, and has rarely handled any hard-copy books or journals in her career. She has a background in libraries, and then worked for a library software company, before becoming self-employed. As a freelancer, she provided consultancy and training in all aspects of digital libraries. She has since specialised in institutional repositories, research information management, metadata, research data management and digital preservation. Her current role is split between the Digital Preservation team and the Research Technologies team. She was a tutor on the Digital Preservation Training Programme and part of the team that created the online version of the course. She has a special interest in the intersection of research data and research outputs repositories and digital preservation.

Tools and Technologies we work with

The Moodle virtual learning platform, supported by Bloom, delivers the Digital Preservation Training Programme Online

We have expertise with open source and commercial tools used for preservation, including DROID, FITS, Apache Tika, VeraPDF, TreeSize, and others

MS Azure functions, for configuring and managing preservation storage

The AOR Toolkit, our own free-to-use assessment toolkit, which helps you assess your capability for doing Digital Preservation

We have expertise with web-archiving tools such as Heritrix, HTTrack, and wget

Have a look at our blog and Podcast